Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Meet the Coach: Megan Balla

Meet Megan Balla.  She is the newest North Texas Team In Training (TNT) coach and will working with her first marathon team during the fall season.  While Megan is new to coaching, she has been involved with TNT for a long time and is dedicated to making the TNT experience a great one for her TEAM.  Learn more about what motivated Megan to take the step from participant to coach this season.

Tell us about how a specific participant inspired you.

Every season that I have participated in has led me to meet some of the most inspiring people I have known.  One person who stands out to me is Kelly Thomas.  She was on a team that raised over $10,000 in honor of her daughter, Lainey, who is fighting leukemia.  After training incredibly hard all season, the week before the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington D.C., she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She still ran the race, knowing that when she came home not only would she have to support her daughter, but that she would be in a fight for her life as well.  After an incredibly trying year, Kelly is now in remission and has started an amazing nonprofit called Love is Louder Than Cancer.  She is an inspiration to anyone who meets her and she has touched by life deeply.

Tell us about a specific moment during a training that made you realize just how special it is to be part of Team In Training.

My first season mentoring I talked my coworker, Beth, into joining our team. She had never run a half marathon before and was excited and nervous.  It was fun to talk running with her at school everyday and then watch her gain confidence and skill every weekend during training.  It was such a joy to run her first half marathon event with her.  For the first time ever, she struggled physically in the middle of the race.  I will never forget watching her push through the difficult miles and then crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with her.

Team In Training is often called a participant's second family.  When was a time you felt like your participants were more like family than a bunch of strangers training together? 
In the two years I have participated with TNT, I have met people who will be my running partners and friends for life.  I have had some of the most fun travel experiences, touring new cities before and after races with the new friends I made.  I know that if I go to Market Street on a Saturday morning, there will always be someone to run with and then have a breakfast burrito and coffee.  I was a little nervous about taking the DART to the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon but when I got to the train station I met up with running friends from my different seasons with TNT!  I always know that when I 'm wearing my purple jersey someone is watching out for me and I will find someone I know.

Share a quote that helps to keep you motivated during difficult trainings.

Every Saturday morning, especially when it is below freezing and there is a chance of rain, I always think, "You're crazy!  What are you doing?!"  I have to remind myself that I am healthy enough to run.  I am running for those who are not healthy enough and do not have the ability to run because they are fighting cancer.  I am running so that one day a cure can be found and those I am running for can come and run with me.  

Join Megan this fall season and find out how TNT will change your life for the better!  Register today at

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